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During his inauguration of the Water Forum... Yousef Al Ali says: Water is an essential pillar within the sustainable development objectives
Sunday, January 15, 2023
H.E Eng. Yousef Al Ali, Assistant Undersecretary for the Electricity, Water and Future Energy Sector at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, inaugurated today the work of the Water Forum, held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) as part of the activities of ADSW 2023 under the title "United on climate action towards the COP28”, in the presence of their Excellencies concerned in the water sector and a group of distinguished experts at the regional and international levels.
In his opening speech, Al Ali stressed that this forum acquires a special status for the state, as it coincides with the announcement of the "We the UAE 2031" vision, and prior to the country's hosting of the COP28 to the UNFCCC, explaining that Current policies in the UAE focus on developing sources of sustainable water supply according to a clear strategy concerned with water security (Water Security Strategy 2036), which aims to reduce average per capita consumption by half, increase water productivity per cubic meter, reduce water scarcity by increasing membrane-based desalination technology over thermal desalination by 50%, increase treated wastewater reuse and fresh water storage capacity, and reduce desalination-associated carbon dioxide emissions by 100 million metric tons.
His Excellency also pointed out that the total capacity of seawater desalination plants installed in the UAE amounts to 1,815 million gallons per day, and that 770 million cubic meters of wastewater have been treated at a rate of 75%, while the percentage of access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation throughout the country is 100%, which led to a high percentage (80%) in the indicator of integrated water management within the sixth objective of the sustainable development objectives.
His Excellency added: "Water is critical to ensuring the quality of life, a major driver of growth and a fundamental pillar within the sustainable development goals, and the water challenge is one of the most pressing global issues nowadays. It is also expected that the demand for fresh water supplies will increase to meet the expected needs for municipal and industrial uses and agricultural irrigation in the coming years, therefore, it has become necessary more than any previous time for more cooperation and joint action to meet the challenges in this vital sector that greatly impacts human life.”
His Excellency then pointed out that the potential effects of climate change on the water system include changes in the various processes and water components that lead to a redistribution of the availability of water resources in terms of space and time, and for this reason, the UAE Water Security Strategy and related programs focus on the readiness and sustainability of the water supply chain from production, distribution, energy conservation management and socio-economy factors of the water sector.
At the end of his speech, His Excellency called for concerted efforts on climate action to meet the future demands of the interlocking sectors, which include water, energy and food in a more sustainable way, and to work together by accelerating innovative technologies and building integrated systems for managing resources to achieve a better and more sustainable future for humanity.